|As ASEAN chair this year, Vietnam has been leading the way in areas such as regional statistics, photo Chi Cuong|
Last week a series of meetings of the ASEAN Community Statistical System (ACSS) took place consecutively in Hanoi and online connected to regional countries over three days.
Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment Tran Quoc Phuong highly appreciated the role of statistics in the process of development of every country, especially in such unpredictable fluctuated context as present. Phuong asserted that the Vietnamese government paid attention to statistics and supported the General Statistics Office (GSO) to integrate and boost international collaboration on the subject.
“Through dialogues and collaboration, we can find out common voices to further increase quality of statistical data in line with the message of World Statistics Day 2020 – connecting the world with data we can trust,” Phuong emphasised at a high-level forum on the ASEAN Community Statistical System and Vietnam’s counterpart last week.
The GSO director general Nguyen Thi Huong said that as chair of ASEAN Statistics, the GSO has proposed to strengthen links and enhance the performance of the ACSS to match demands that are increasing, as well as confirm that solidarity is decisive to the sustainable development of the ACSS.
“A cohesive and developed ASEAN statistics community can effectively adapt to external influencing factors, and proactive adaption is the driving force for the ASEAN statistical community to closely cohesion and enhance overall strength,” said Huong.
In 2020, the ACSS celebrated another decade of ASEAN statistical cooperation, building on the strong foundation in statistical cooperation established since 1997.
Since its establishment in 2011, the ACSS has been continuing its efforts to provide relevant, timely, and comparable ASEAN statistics in support of ASEAN integration monitoring and evidence-based policy and decision making. The ACSS has also been consistently strengthened its collaboration to improve statistical capacities of ASEAN member states and the ASEAN Secretariat.
Through the support of the Sub-Committee on Planning and Coordination and technical working groups, the ACSS has been able to improve data provision in various areas such as economic and social statistics. The ACSS disseminates over 700 statistical indicators via the ASEANstats website.
The ACSS Committee said that despite achieving significant improvements at the national and regional levels, the ACSS continues to face challenges that require strong collaborative efforts of ASEAN member states. Statistical capacity gap among members and limited national and regional resources are among the key challenges for the ACSS to improve data availability and quality.
Improving coordination among national data producers is also crucial to respond to the greater data needs, including in furthering global initiatives such as sustainable development goals.
In recognition of the potential use of big data in official statistics as new sources of data, the ACSS Committee endorsed the Concept Note on the Use of Big Data for Enhancement of ACSS Official Statistics. This would strengthen the cooperation in enabling the utilisation of big data, which could play a significant role in improving the timeliness and relevance of official statistics, as well as reducing the costs of statistics compilation.
Michael Tene, deputy secretary-general of ASEAN, highlighted that the ACSS continues statistical programmes to provide timely and comparable statistics on international merchandise trade, foreign direct investment, international trade in services, national accounts, and other macroeconomic and social indicators.
“We also implemented dissemination and communication work programmes to promote greater use of ASEAN statistics, including videos to celebrate a decade of statistical cooperation,” he added.
Meanwhile, representative of the State Bank of Vietnam Hoang Thi Quynh Mai said that the local statistics sector should innovate in methods of collecting information, pay more attention to do statistical surveys, and enhance the application of IT in collecting and synthesising foreign investment data, as well as exchange lesson learned by other ASEAN member states.
At the 10th session of the ACSS hosted by the GSO, they have adopted the ASEAN-Help-ASEAN Framework for ACSS Capacity Building in sustaining capacity building programmes as well as to facilitate greater knowledge and experience sharing among ASEAN member states to speed up the development of statistics at national and regional levels.
By Minh Vu